You are kindly advised to remain calm . . .

LUSAKA, ZAMBIA — As the favorite niece of a Teamster local president, as an American newspaper refugee, and as a fan of subversive language, I just love this poster, which went up over the long-empty water cooler here today.

The subtext of “remain calm” as a veteran reporter noted, was to inspire just the opposite among staff, who don’t have a host of perks to begin with here.

Still, at least they don’t herd, sheep-like, into meetings where they are told that half of them are going to have to find some other way to send their kids to college, pay their mortgages, plan for infirmity and old age — other than the career they gave up holidays, birthdays, graduations, softball games, and some measure of sanity to serve.

Christmas! Some quietly murmured, back where I came from, when taxes were taken out of their bonuses. By the time bonuses vanished they were long since silenced by fear for their livelihoods and the work they still thought could be done nowhere else.

Come here, but you are kindly advised to remain calm.

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One Response

  1. I love that sign and will show it around to my currently-employed co-workers tomorrow. It manages to be both polite and ominous! Like a horror movie made by the Amish!

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